Ronald D. Laracuente
Coral Glades High School senior Ronald D. Laracuente was recently named a member of the 49th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars. He will travel to Washington, D.C. this weekend (June 15-16, 2013) to receive his award – one of the nation’s highest honors for high schools students – at a White House reception hosted by President Barak Obama.
During his announcement of the award, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “the Presidential Scholars demonstrate the accomplishments that can be made when students challenge themselves, set the highest standards, and commit themselves to excellence.” Commending the 141 high school seniors being recognized for their accomplishments in academics or the arts, Duncan added, “I’m honored to celebrate their creativity, hard work, and community service, and I encourage them – and all students – to continue to showcase the capacity for greatness in our nation’s young people.”
Ronald, who lives in Coral Springs, credits Coral Glades English II teacher Lisa Plass of Plantation, as his most influential teacher. “Although we were surprised and excited, this honor is well-deserved,” said Plass. “He exemplifies incomparable intellect, exceptional extra curricular talent and outstanding integrity,” she said. “He is bold, curious and enjoys learning for the sake of personal growth and discovery.”
In addition to being recognized by the Scholar’s Program, Ronald’s accomplishments have also been realized by several Ivy League colleges and universities. Among the institutions extending him an invitation were Yale, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, and his school of choice Harvard.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,300 candidates qualified for the 2013 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition.
The Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments during the National Recognition Weekend, held in Washington, D.C. The Scholars, as guests of the Commission, will enjoy an expenses-paid trip to the nation’s capital to meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people. Scholars will have the opportunity to visit museums and monuments and attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars will be awarded the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.